Bilateral agreement on fish stocks reached between EU and UK
UK-EU negotiations have now concluded, with agreement on key shared stocks in the North Sea and West of Scotland sea basins, as well as other coastal waters around the UK. Among the stocks covered by this agreement are North Sea and West of Scotland nephrops, hake, monkfish and ling, as well as Rockall haddock and cod and West of Scotland whiting and cod.
Negotiations took place over November and early December 2021 and were positive and constructive in nature. Both parties acknowledged the importance of responsible and sustainable management of the stocks under discussion and the need to achieve agreement before the end of the calendar year to give certainty to fishermen for 2022.
The Written Record (WR) sets out Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and related management measures for stocks of key importance to the Scottish industry, including monkfish, hake and ling.
A full list of stocks will be available on the Written Record. The estimated value of these stocks to Scotland is £148m.
The jointly-managed TACs in the WR have been set at sustainable levels, taking into account advice from the International Committee for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). In some cases, a TAC restraint has been applied to manage the large increases and decreases found in the scientific advice (which could negatively impact the industry and the markets). Where it has been applied, this incremental approach moves stocks closer to Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) while avoiding significant fluctuations in TACs which would be economically damaging.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:
“As part of these negotiations, we have put on record the importance of ongoing dialogue between the UK and EU on a number of issues, including quota transfers and technical measures. The Specialised Committee on Fisheries (SCF) is the forum for such discussions, and it is expected that a number of meetings of the SCF will take place in 2022. The Scottish Government remains committed to close engagement with the EU, and will look to be a proactive participant in any such discussions.”